# Mathematics

posted by Crystal

I have the polynomial x^2+2x-8 and when I tried to factor it, I just ended up confusing myself. Can anyone please help make sense of this?

1. Reiny

Can you think of two numbers which when multiplied give you -8 (the last number) and when added will give you +2 (the coefficient of the middle term) ?
How about 4 and -2, so .... (4)(-2 = -8 , 4 + (-2) = +2

x^2 + 2x - 8
= (x+4)(x-2)

If the coefficient of the square term is 1, like in x^2, follow the above method.
If there are factors, it will work.

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